Overall Satisfaction with Urban Airship
We use Urban Airship for push notifications on breaking news stories. It's used by a few members of our editorial staff. When news breaks and we get a story on our site, we send out the push notifications to bring readers back to our content. It helps drive traffic and engagement.
- It's very fast. As soon as we hit send, it arrives on our phone and tablet apps immediately.
- The interface is clear. We generally copy and paste the headline right into the box. The font and font size, along with the background, make it easy to read so that we avoid any typos. That's important because we're working quickly.
- It gives you good and usable analytics to track engagement.
- It's 100 percent reliable. We've never had an issue with it.
- The interface can be a little confusing. In the upper right corner of your dashboard, you'll see "New Push Message" and "New Message" ... Seems odd to have two choices. Then, after you push "New Message" you can copy and paste your text, but then there are about three more buttons before you get to the point of sending it. That just might be how it's integrated with our app so other markets might be different. But, if you have the instructions, it's fairly quick.
- Again, this could be just the way it's integrated with our app, but when a user clicks on the alert on their phones, it goes to the web site and not to the specific story. So, we have to make sure the story is in a prominent place on our site (Latest News, mainstage).
- It would be nice to have small photos in our push notifications.
- It's had a positive impact on engagement.
- It helps lend credibility to our product given that major sites like CNN, AP, ESPN, etc. have push notifications.
- I have not come across any negative impacts.
There was a time when we went off Urban Airship and went to Spreed. We were using Spreed's app, so there was much better integration on push notifications. The push notification took readers directly into the story. When we moved from Spreed to our own native app, we went back to Urban Airship.
It's well-suited when you want your content to get out quickly. It's best for breaking or big news. We do weigh what types of stories we want to push. We don't want to overuse it, but we want to take advantage. We don't find it appropriate using it between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. We sent out a push one time around midnight, and we got a comment back that it woke somebody up and scared them.